Manika Walia is the Professor and Dean, School of Creativity, Rishihood University – mentoring young minds towards constructive, sustainable and meaningful design solutions in different domains. As an Academic Administrator and Professor of Design, she believes that the understanding of subject matter is important but, it is also necessary that students can explore beyond the first layer of information, observe, critically analyse, work in teams, develop analytical skills and above all become good successful human beings.
She started her career soon after completing her postgraduate education as a freelance designer with renowned apparel and soft furnishing design studios in India, Hong Kong and the US. She was also engaged in design projects for the Jaipur City Palace –Atelier and Ministry of Handicrafts and Textiles, Government of India.
Her interest in design education helped her move into the area of higher education. Her continuous association with the Industry also helped her in forging new initiatives in the field of design education. She pursued Advance Program in Design and Sustainability in the changing world from London College of Fashion and Kering, UK. Her experience in design teaching motivated to pursue Doctorate in Design Thinking and Innovation to pursue an active role in design academics and research.
Prof Manika strongly believes designs’ true vocation is problem-solving and developing solutions that touch lives and bring benefit to all stakeholders. Her particular interest is in the application of design research and its implementation for effective sustainable, social design and system reform.
She has worked extensively on a number of independent design projects towards sustainability, universal design and ergonomics, design intervention for various craft clusters and have contributed to various government and corporate agencies. She was honoured by Micol Fontana Couture, Florence, Italy. Her work towards Design Thinking was highly recognised in Vietnam.
She is also a distinguished member Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), working closely with the stakeholders for strategizing and implementing all the Design initiatives in the country.
She is passionate about what she does and is always ready to challenge the conventional wisdom at both the level of industry and higher education.